Republican County Commissioner Candidate: Duane Vestal
Published 2:16 pm Thursday, April 28, 2022
The following is information on one of five candidates for Davie County Board of Commissioners. Voters will elected two. Early voting started April 28 and the primary election will be May 17.
Farmington Road, Mocksville
Wife, Bonnie, son Bryson, 9
Davie High School, 1992 graduate; Forsyth Technical Community College, associate degree in criminal justice; Community College of the Air Force, associate degree in police science; Grantham University, bachelor’s degree in homeland security
20-year combat veteran, retired. 26 years federal service retirement. Part-time lead key holder at Dollar General, Farmington Road.
In The Community
• Gospelway Baptist Church
•Harmon Masonic Lodge 420,Courtney
• Owner, Hope 4U2 Christian Ministries
Why did you decide to seek public office?
Vestal: First and foremost, after a considerable amount of prayer and conversations with my wife Bonnie, she made it clear to me that my passion for public office was evident after a long military career in leadership positions and I could make the biggest difference in people’s lives to run for County Commissioner. Second, all elected officials need to be more accessible and accountable to all residents of Davie County. Davie County needs a visionary who seeks to work full-time and not part-time for the residents of Davie County. As a servant of all people, a county commissioner shouldn’t be receiving a monthly salary of approximately $590 to $690 and if given the opportunity to be elected as one of Davie County’s Commissioners, I will not take a salary. That specific salary will be donated each month to nonprofits in Davie County.
What do you think the most significant challenges facing the county, and how do you intend to address those challenges?
Vestal: One challenge would be to bring in more revenue to the county by offering a temporary tax exemption or incentive to any corporation that decides to do business with Davie County. The return investment would create more jobs, revenue will be generated to invest in Davie County’s future and taxpayer money would be invested wisely. Second, when budgetary decisions are made, the whole county has been run by one small portion of members or section of the county and that needs to change. Thirdly, the tax rate between the Town of Mocksville, the Town of Cooleemee, and the Town of Bermuda Run needs to be equitable but at the present time its disproportionate. Some areas of the county have been overlooked economically except for taxation. To solve the taxation issue, each town manager along with the County Manager and County Commissioners need to come to the table and reach a reasonable solution which a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to solve it or better yet, a ballot initiative and let the people decide.
Fourth challenge is the County Board of Commissioners’ mostly voting 3-2 on property deemed to them OK for solar panel farms. We have been fortunate in this area for people taking a stand and voting against the measure which currently a moratorium has been in place for over 6 months and soon will have to be revisited. I would vote no on this measure if the property owner said no and residents in those areas affected say no. Solution, let the residents in those areas decide on that measure. After the measure is put in the paper legally for a certain length of time and if no one opposes the solar panel farm, the decision is left up to the County Commissioners which as of today it would pass 3-2.
What are the top qualities that should be considered for a county manager? What salary range should Davie County pay its manager?
Vestal: Trustworthiness, honesty, integrity, and first and foremost, Leadership. Monetary means shouldn’t be the decisive factor to choose a County Manager. The County Manager should know the inner workings of each department that he/she is responsible for to manage. The County Manager should hold each department head under his/her supervision. Not everyone is a leader. Sam Walton, founder of Walmart said, “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, its amazing what they can accomplish.”
Vestal: Lastly, my name is Duane Vestal, I’m not a politician, 49 years old, a born again Christian, married to Bonnie Zabilansky and I have a 9-year-old son named Bryson. I’m pro-life, pro 2nd Amendment, pro-family, and pro law enforcement advocate. Bonnie is a registered nurse and Bryson attends Cornatzer Elementary. I was born and raised in Davie County. Second, after graduating in 1992 from Davie High School, I headed to Fort Benning, Ga. for 13 weeks and completed Army Boot Camp where I served 8 honorable years. In 2001 after being let go from a construction company after Sept. 11, 2001, I decided to do something different militarily, so I enlisted in the US Air Force. I conducted several combat tours in Iraq and received multiple citations and accommodation medals from the Army Chief of Staff and the Central Command Air Force Commander. I retired in 2013 after serving 20 honorable years of service and that time of service is my main reference. from 2001 to 2013, leader/managerial positions I held, Unit Training Manager, Unit Deployment Manager and the Facility Manager for over 300 Air Force Members and back-office staff of over 100 gave me the opportunity to demonstrate what kind of a Manager/Leader I could be. In 2009, I was awarded the NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) of the quarter award for my hard work and leadership.
Currently I work at Dollar General part time won Farmington Road. Being in retail for the first time in my life has been a great experience and opportunity. Its hard work which I am accustomed to working and providing a service to others.
I believe we all have God-given talents and gifts to do grat things if ever given the opportunity.
God Bless all of you. Elect Duane Vestal.